The song of "Oluronbi" is part of a tale of a woman named Oluronbi who was barren. She went to the magical Iroko tree to ask for help conceiving. Most people who would go to the spirit of the Iroko tree would offer goats, sheep, yams or fruit. Oluronbi brought nothing with her and in desperation offered her first born child.
When the child was born Oluronbi tried to plead with the Iroko spirit not to take her. The Iroko spirit would not be appeased and took the child.
Since then this song has been sung to remind people of Oluronbi's sad tale...
Oníkálukú jèjé ewúré
Oníkálukú jèjé àgùtàn,
Olúrónbí jèjé omo re
Omo re a pón bíi epo
Some offered a goat,
Some offered a sheep,
A healthy sheep.
Oluronbi offered her child
Her beautiful fair child,
*Joun joun has no meaning
You can hear an instrumental version here.
As with most folk tales, the story of Oluronbi has different versions.
Thanks and Acknowledgements
Original Image of Iroko Tree By Erik Kleves Kristensen - Flickr, CC BY 2.0. Edited by Lisa.